Steve Meyer
It appears to be the easiest thing in the world.  However I've learned that is not always the case when looking at YouTube videos to learn how to do something.  I did find a video by Alec Steele, that seems to be really great.  He shows how to make one type of rivet. I'm curious if anyone has any good info on making rivets with dome heads?
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theengel
So far, the only rivets I've made have been more for functionality and I didn't care how they looked.  So I just used a 1/4 inch bolt.  One side already has a head... you just have to heat it up and pound the other side.  They work fine for the tongs I made.  Now, if I could only master making the tongs themselves.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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Steve Meyer
Tongs are harder than they look.  I went on ebay and bought a set of quick tongs to start with. I think they were $10.  Pretty nice because they come as blanks, you have to twist and shape the heads, drill or punch the hole for the rivet and round and lengthen the handles in order to use them. this is the little project I currently want to rivet, but knowing how to make them in different styles is always nice.


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Skarzs the Cave Troll
If you have a vise, you can clamp the piece in there and hammer on the top. Make sure it is good and hot or, in small stock, annealed.
For that little folder there, you may only need a 16 penny nail (a thick one, about 5/32 in. or larger). If you don't feel like leaving the head as one side and want to cut it off, to make the first head you probably want to heat up the nail to orange and just let it cool. Then you can clamp it in the vise and make the head much more easily than without heating it beforehand. For rivets, the softer the better.

Thick rivets like for tongs even I am still having trouble with. Bending every which way they want to go if I'm not careful enough, upsetting between the two tong pieces when they bouce apart (now THAT was fun to redo. . .), and splitting. I'm going to make myself a monkey tool/bolster plate for my commonly-used rivet sizes, which may or may not help.
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Steve Meyer
I have a smaller piece of steel.  its thick enough I drilled a deep dimple into it to set the head of the premade rivet in so it was firm when i upset the other end to tighten my tongs.  That seemed to help a bit.  It bit down tight enough it took a few turns in the fire and water working it to get them moving smoothly. I think a couple of monkey tools would be nice.  Thanks for the idea on the nail. I have just the ones here.  it's a bit ghetto but the knife is that way on purpose.  Now I need to decide whether to heat treat the blade once it is attached to the handle or before.
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
I say drill the hole, then heat treat it, and then attach it. Just like with the tongs, the rivet could tighten if you heat it up with the whole piece, and that's not what you want in this case.
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Steve Meyer
That's probably the best idea. On top of that it's not as if  the handle itself needs heat treated.
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